It looks like Windows Update Services, a new tool designed to let system administrators keep PCs and servers up to date with the latest patches and bug fixes, won't be delivered until some time in the first half of 2005. Originally, the tool was planned to debut this year.

"The company said the delay will allow developers to incorporate changes suggested by people who tested the product. Also, Microsoft developers are busy with a new Automatic Updates agent that will be incorporated into Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), a long-awaited revamp of Windows XP. The necessary integration of Automatic Updates into SP2, and required testing, in part contributed to the delay, according to the company."